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International Students Weigh In On The Differences Between America and Their Homes

Hayden August, Editor-in-Chief

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International students have to deal with an immediate and rapid culture shock when coming to the United States, especially the American high school experience. Hopkinton has had a long-standing tradition of welcoming international students from a plethora of countries for nearly a decade, building and establishing lasting connections between the students and helping them get acclimated into Hopkinton High School.  But what are the key differences that international students face when coming to America? Several international students weigh in on the differences between America and their homes.

“I feel like people here are a bit more reserved than in Brazil, but once you get to know them, they are all really nice,” Clara Gomez said. (Brazil)

Photo: Clara Gomez with Ambassadors Club skating.

Dan Proudman
Clara Gomez (Light pink Hoodie Front Row Center) and Nicolas Ceola (right of Clara) with Ambassadors Club skating.

“Something pretty cool is that when I used to play volleyball in Italy, I used to finish practice around ten and I used to have dinner at ten-thirty, but here I’m asleep at ten-thirty, so it’s super weird,” Costanza Alberti said. (Italy)

Photo: Costanza (Connie) Alberti (far left) Smiles with her fellow Italian international students.

Costanza (Connie) Alberti (far left) Smiles with her fellow Italian international students.

“The food here is so different, everything is so much bigger than in our countries I think. In general, the food is so much bigger and there is so much more sugar in it,” Karolina Ruessman said. (Germany)

Photo: Karolina Ruessman (right) enjoys an apple cider donut on an Ambassadors Club outing.

Hayden August
Karolina Ruessman (right) enjoys an apple cider donut on an Ambassadors Club outing.

“First of all the weather. I live in a tropical country so the weather is expected to be above eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit through the year, so here it’s 50, 60, so that’s very old for me,” Klam Sermkijseree said. (Thailand)

Photo: Klam is an International student from Thailand

Fred Haas
Klam is an International student from Thailand

“I feel so safe here. Everything is safe here, you can go to school by walking and you don’t have to be worried about anything,” Nicolas Ceola said. (Brazil)

“[In Italy] You don’t have like clubs or sports at school, so that’s another big difference. Like I go to school from seven-fifty am to twelve-fifty pm, so it’s like really short. Instead of here like I stay at school for a lot of time, and also in the afternoon when I have to do sports or clubs, so that’s different,” Riccardo Negri said. (Italy)

Photo: Ricardo Negri (second from left) Smiles with the other Italian international students at their table during international night.

Hayden August
Ricardo Negri (second from left) Smiles with the other Italian international students at their table during the international night.

“It’s very different, like the way we teach the class, because in China we all stay in the same class and the teacher moves the class, and now it’s like we have to change the class every day, and we have the same schedule and every student has the same schedule but now we can choose our class, it’s very different,” Yi Feng said. (China)

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International Students Weigh In On The Differences Between America and Their Homes